I have installed Ubuntu 12.04-64 bit on my Lenovo IdeaPad laptop, and the wired Ethernet (LAN) connection doesn't work.

Running the lspci -vv | grep Atheros command from the terminal shows me I have the AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet controller:

02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet (rev 08)

This looks like a new product whose drivers are not built into Ubuntu.

How do I install drivers to get the AR8161 working?

  • sudo modeprobe ath9k
    – BigSack
    Aug 14, 2012 at 13:47
  • 1
    Please remember to accept/upvote the best answer(s) to your question when possible (tick/check mark on the left). This way, the question is marked as "answered" and future readers can refer to it knowing the solution works. Thank you...:)
    – ish
    Aug 26, 2012 at 17:11
  • This answer (askubuntu.com/a/736589/194156) helped me solve this problem. TL;DR, in Network Manager, set the MTU to 8192.
    – Xin
    Aug 29, 2016 at 7:42

2 Answers 2


The AR8161 is a very new combined Ethernet/Bluetooth controller and its driver alx is in the testing/QA process, so it's not in the kernel yet.

To build and install the driver:

We will download a recent compat-wireless-pc driver package, install build dependencies, select the AR8161 module alx, build and install it.

Type/paste the following, line-by-line, in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic linux-headers-`uname -r`
wget -O- http://linuxwireless.org/download/compat-wireless-2.6/compat-wireless-2012-07-03-pc.tar.bz2 | tar -xj
cd compat-wireless-2012-07-03-pc
./scripts/driver-select alx
sudo make install

You can then reboot, or manually load the driver with:

sudo modprobe alx
  • Thanks i made this a gist! gist.github.com/3406323
    – chrisjlee
    Sep 5, 2012 at 15:01
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    How the heck "sudo apt-get install" if the network card is not working??
    – Ivan
    Nov 14, 2012 at 22:22
  • Note that the "compat-wireless" drivers referred to here are the same as the officially supported and maintained "-backports-modules-cw" below - you should really prefer that solution, now that it is available.
    – Greg
    Dec 28, 2012 at 11:53
  • I use the by now delivered alx driver, wireless works, but wired ethernet does not. Haven't had such issues in a long time. I think it is time that we start to rumble on manufacturer's social websites if they still release new hardware without proper linux drivers - this really should be ended now. Place your comments on their social media sites mentioned in the footer of atheros.com .. I certainly did..
    – Bachi
    Apr 7, 2013 at 10:49
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    @Ivan, I'm sure you've moved on by now, but, help.ubuntu.com/community/AptCdrom
    – Tim Harper
    Jun 12, 2013 at 20:37

Ubuntu now provides a package for this driver.

To install the driver:

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-cw-3.4-precise-generic
sudo modprobe alx
  • 4
    or newer 3.5, 3.6, available as packages too, e.g. linux-backports-modules-cw-3.6-precise-generic
    – gertvdijk
    Jan 1, 2013 at 23:33
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    Make sure you bring up the interface afterwards, ie: ifconfig eth0 up && sudo dhclient eth0 Feb 8, 2013 at 22:34
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    @gertvdijk Nope, newer packages don't contain the alx module. Only 3.4 works. Don't know the reason. The card is not claimed by any driver with 3.6 version at least. packages.ubuntu.com/… Feb 15, 2013 at 11:24
  • @JorgeSuárezdeLis Actually, I can confirm 3.6 has worked. I just installed 3.6 before I read your comment but it seems to have worked anyway.
    – Cyntech
    Jun 15, 2013 at 13:02
  • linux-backports-modules-cw-3.8-3.2.0-48-generic did NOT have alx installed. Also, if you have no Internet connection on your target machine, you can download the driver from pkgs.org/ubuntu-12.04/ubuntu-updates-main-amd64/… (be sure to modify the last set of numbers to match your current kernel (see uname -a)
    – User1
    Jul 10, 2013 at 4:32

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